Archive for June, 2014

Confused by Your Bank's Overdraft Options?

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Saldutti

Bank customers remain confused about overdraft, according to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts. More than 50% of the people who reported paying an overdraft fee in 2013 told Pew they don’t recall opting into overdraft coverage or knowing how much a slip-up would cost them. So much for that change of the law in 2010 that made banks get customers’ permission before signing them up for overdraft programs. “Overdrafters are still befuddled by the rules,” said Susan Weinstock, director of Pew’s consumer banking project. When Pew asked people who had opted into overdraft protection programs what they would…

July 4th Trivia: How Patriotic are You?

Posted on June 29, 2014 by Saldutti

This most American of holidays will be marked by backyard barbecues, boisterous parades, and bright fireworks displays. But what do you really know about July Fourth? Test your knowledge on our America’s birthday quiz and find out. 1.  Which 3 presidents died on the Fourth of July? John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Adams, the second president, and Jefferson, the third president, both died on the same day in 1826. 2.  What other presidents were near misses? On July 4, 1850, President Zachary Taylor attended ceremonies for the Washington Memorial and returned to the White House for a bowl…

Wedding Gift Etiquette: How Much Should You Spend?

Posted on June 27, 2014 by Saldutti

As anyone who’s ever paid for or attended a wedding knows, celebrating eternal love can get pricey. Not only is the cost of a wedding soaring — couples spent an average of $30,000 in 2013, according to TheKnot.com, up from $28,000 the year before and the highest level since 2008 — but wedding guests are spending more than ever, as well.  An American Express survey found guests spent an average of $539 on weddings in 2013, up from $339 in 2012. Bridal party members spent even more, shelling out $577 on average. Expenses like travel, hotel stays and wedding attire…

Tips For a Hassle-Free Moving Day

Posted on June 26, 2014 by Saldutti

Spend some time driving around this time of year and you’re likely to spot lots of moving vans, big trucks from national companies, small U-Hauls, and everything in between. This is the busiest time of year for moving – the weeks between the end-of-the-school-year in one locale to the start of a new one in the fall. Unless you’ve done it, moving seems simple: Pack it, load it, deliver it, unload it, unpack it. But consumers who don’t do their homework could have expensive regrets. While there are no guarantees that a mover you hire will deliver your goods on…

The Worst Financial Mistakes Newlyweds Make

Posted on June 24, 2014 by Saldutti

A recent Kansas State University study found that if couples argued about money at the beginning of their marriage, they were more likely to report poor relationship satisfaction in the long-term. This is precisely why experts say it’s key for couples to tackle money issues early – to stave off fights over finances in the future. So what are the most common financial blunders that newlyweds tend to make? LearnVest asked financial pros to pinpoint the eight biggest offenders — and then offer up some advice for how to help right them early on.   Not knowing your partner’s ‘money…

Boomerang Kids are Here to Stay

Posted on June 23, 2014 by Saldutti

One in 5 people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. And 60% of all young adults receive financial support from them. That’s a significant increase from a generation ago, when only one in 10 young adults moved back home and few received financial support. The common explanation for the shift is that people born in the late 1980s and early 1990s came of age amid several unfortunate and overlapping economic trends. Those who graduated college as the housing market and financial system were imploding faced the highest debt burden of any graduating…

Summer Fun Could Cost You $1 Million

Posted on June 20, 2014 by Saldutti

Ah, summertime! That glorious season when school’s out and the living is easy. Days consist of sprinklers, swimming pools and sand between your toes. Evenings are filled with fireflies, s’mores and friendly porch swing chats. Of course, all this easy living doesn’t come cheap. Research shows that between vacation and keeping the kids busy with camps and other activities, summer fun can cost the average family of four more than $6,000. Add home improvement projects to the seasonal mix, and that total jumps to nearly $10,000! There’s nothing wrong with living footloose and fancy free a few months out of…

Over 40 Million Modified Mortgages are Underwater

Posted on June 19, 2014 by Saldutti

More than 40% of the 2 million recently modified mortgages facing interest-rate resets are underwater, according to data released Monday by Black Knight Financial Services. By comparison, the firm’s analysis of April mortgage performance showed that the national negative equity rate was 9.4%. “We have seen a continual reduction in the number of underwater borrowers at the national level for some time now, but modified loans show a different picture,” said Kostya Gradushy, manager for loan data and customer analytics. “Given that the data has shown quite clearly that equity—or the lack thereof – is one of the primary drivers…

Living Paycheck to Paycheck? Time to Break the Cycle …

Posted on June 18, 2014 by Saldutti

If you’ve ever been in this situation you know – living from one paycheck to the next makes peace of mind an elusive goal. But 38 million American households live this way, spending all of each paycheck, according to recent research from the Brookings Institution. While many of these households have assets such as their own homes or retirement accounts, they have little or no extra cash on hand. “Car accidents happen. Sudden job loss happens. Natural disasters happen. What do you have to fall back on if the unforeseen happens?” says Sylvia Flores of The Online 401k. From a…